Fine Tuning My Dining Reservations...

kimberlymautz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I was able to book my dining reservations today and would really like some suggestions / advice.

This is what I've got so far:
Saturday, September 26th - Arrival
Sunday, September 27th - Magic Kingdom
  • Be Our Guest Breakfast (QS) at 9:30am
Monday, September 28th - Hollywood Studios
  • Mama Melrose Fantasmic! Dining at 4:40pm
Tuesday, September 29th - MNSSHP
  • 'Ohana Breakfast at 9:55am
Wednesday, September 30th - Rest Day
  • Bon Voyage Breakfast at 10:10am
Thursday, October 1st - Epcot
Friday, October 2nd - Animal Kingdom
  • Tusker House Breakfast at 9:40am
  • Yak & Yeti Dinner at 6:15pm
Saturday, October 3rd - Rest Day
  • Chef Mickey's Brunch at 11:30am
  • Cape May Cafe Dinner at 6:45pm
Sunday, October 4th - Magic Kingdom
  • Crystal Palace Dinner at 5:40pm
Monday, October 5th - Departure

We arrive at MCO around 7:30pm and will be leaving MCO at about 1:45pm so I haven't planned anything for our arrival or departure days.

I'd really like to have an extra 2 meals or so reserved just in case we decide to turn one of our rest days into a day at Universal.


I currently have 8 out of 9 meals scheduled, but I'm having MAJOR second thoughts about Tusker House, Cape May Cafe, and Crystal Palace.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

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I have a few comments...
-BOG 9:30am is not an ideal time in my opinion.
-I have not been to Tusker House but hear nothing but good things but again timing is not ideal.
-I have not been to Cape May but if you enjoy seafood I've also heard nothing but good things. I don't like seafood which is why I don't think its worth going to for me.
-I have eaten at Crystal Palace a number of times and enjoy the food. I don't really enjoy the atmosphere because I feel rushed to get back to my seat so I don't miss a character. If you like Winnie The Pooh characters and buffets I'd keep it.
 
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RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
Where are you staying and who will be with you? And what kind of tickets will you have? If you’re an adult couple, I think you can do most of these (we love Tusker House) but @Queen of the WDW Screne is right about timing. I didn’t look up hours for the parks these days, but you usually don’t want to use your precious opening hour or two eating when you could be riding rides with minimal waits.
 

kimberlymautz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I have a few comments...
-BOG 9:30am is not an ideal time in my opinion.
-I have not been to Tusker House but hear nothing but good things but again timing is not ideal.
-I have not been to Cape May but if you enjoy seafood I've also heard nothing but good things. I don't like seafood which is why I don't think its worth going to for me.
-I have eaten at Crystal Palace a number of times and enjoy the food. I don't really enjoy the atmosphere because I feel rushed to get back to my seat so I don't miss a character. If you like Winnie The Pooh characters and buffets I'd keep it.
I actually just changed my BOG time to 8:25am (though I'm going to keep my eyes out for something earlier). My thought with 9:30am was that we could run to one or two rides between 9am opening and our reservation, but now my plan will just be to get to BOG as early as humanly possible so we can eat and head right out to some rides.

I've been to Tusker House for dinner which I really enjoyed, but my daughter wasn't a fan. I really just added it because I was running out of ideas. Nine table service meals is a lot harder to plan then I'd thought.

I've been to Cape May before but I didn't really think my boyfriend will like much there - he isn't a seafood fan. Both of my kids and I LOVE seafood, and I know there are other options for him, I just don't know.

We've been to Crystal Palace twice before and enjoyed it, but Sunday the 4th will be my son's 3rd birthday and he isn't really into Winnie the Pooh. Obviously that could change. I think I'm just over thinking.

Where are you staying and who will be with you? And what kind of tickets will you have? If you’re an adult couple, I think you can do most of these (we love Tusker House) but @Queen of the WDW Screne is right about timing. I didn’t look up hours for the parks these days, but you usually don’t want to use your precious opening hour or two eating when you could be riding rides with minimal waits.
I'll be traveling with my boyfriend, our daughter (she will be 9), and our son (will turn 3 while we're there!)
 

RememberWhen

Well-Known Member
I actually just changed my BOG time to 8:25am (though I'm going to keep my eyes out for something earlier). My thought with 9:30am was that we could run to one or two rides between 9am opening and our reservation, but now my plan will just be to get to BOG as early as humanly possible so we can eat and head right out to some rides.

I've been to Tusker House for dinner which I really enjoyed, but my daughter wasn't a fan. I really just added it because I was running out of ideas. Nine table service meals is a lot harder to plan then I'd thought.

I've been to Cape May before but I didn't really think my boyfriend will like much there - he isn't a seafood fan. Both of my kids and I LOVE seafood, and I know there are other options for him, I just don't know.

We've been to Crystal Palace twice before and enjoyed it, but Sunday the 4th will be my son's 3rd birthday and he isn't really into Winnie the Pooh. Obviously that could change. I think I'm just over thinking.



I'll be traveling with my boyfriend, our daughter (she will be 9), and our son (will turn 3 while we're there!)
Highly recommend touring plans reservation finder if you’re having trouble finding times you want for BOG. We haven’t done breakfast, but people like it. We usually do lunch (have two reservations for our next trip).
You can probably (maybe?) do safari before your tusker house reservation if you’re there front of the line at rope drop. I would not try to do FOP. Maybe Navi. If you’re at the front of the line
You could try for Chef Mickey for your son’s birthday. It’s a quick walk/monorail ride from the MK if your son is more into Mickey than Pooh.
We really like Cape May for breakfast with Minnie, but we don’t eat a lot of seafood, so haven’t tried dinner.
Other meals we really like:
Hoop Dee Doo at Fort Wilderness (not sure what the dining plan situation is if you’re trying to figure out credits).
Garden Grill at Epcot. Has Mickey, Pluto and Chip and Dale. The restaurant rotates and the food is pretty good.
We tend to do a lot of character meals because we don’t like finding them at the parks. And the kids (they’ll be 8 and 3 for our next trip) Love meeting the characters).

Sounds like a really fun birthday trip!
 

kimberlymautz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Highly recommend touring plans reservation finder if you’re having trouble finding times you want for BOG. We haven’t done breakfast, but people like it. We usually do lunch (have two reservations for our next trip).
You can probably (maybe?) do safari before your tusker house reservation if you’re there front of the line at rope drop. I would not try to do FOP. Maybe Navi. If you’re at the front of the line
You could try for Chef Mickey for your son’s birthday. It’s a quick walk/monorail ride from the MK if your son is more into Mickey than Pooh.
We really like Cape May for breakfast with Minnie, but we don’t eat a lot of seafood, so haven’t tried dinner.
Other meals we really like:
Hoop Dee Doo at Fort Wilderness (not sure what the dining plan situation is if you’re trying to figure out credits).
Garden Grill at Epcot. Has Mickey, Pluto and Chip and Dale. The restaurant rotates and the food is pretty good.
We tend to do a lot of character meals because we don’t like finding them at the parks. And the kids (they’ll be 8 and 3 for our next trip) Love meeting the characters).

Sounds like a really fun birthday trip!

I was thinking of canceling the Tusker House reservation. I think we have too many breakfasts planned when almost all of the options they have are the same we could get with QS and if we're going to see the same characters at Chef Mickey's it's not like we'll be in major need of seeing them at AK. I just have to figure out what to put in it's place.

I was thinking of doing Chef Mickey's for my son's birthday but my daughter is dead set on going for brunch (we've done it twice and it's been her favorite meal both trips) and MK closes early on his birthday for MNSSHP so I don't want to waste too much time traveling back and fourth if we don't absolutely need to. I might add it on and just change it later though if we need/want to.

I've had a BUNCH of people saying to try Garden Grill, but we usually avoid table service at Epcot because we'll be there for Food and Wine and want to try some new stuff.
 

MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
If you are having a hard time thinking of TS credits what about upgrading to a Signature Dining experience for one of the meals? Our family loved dinner at Tiffin's in Animal Kingdom or California Grill can be a great nice night out on a rest/non-park day!

We did Liberty Tree Tavern during MNSSHP last year and really enjoyed the food and the break from the party.

Your list is very character-meal heavy, which I find can get a bit exhausting multiple days in a row, but that is pure personal preference.
 

ThisisnotDetroit

New Member
Keep your 8:25 BOG, and show up early. They will let you in and seat you as soon as they open the park to the early breakfast folks (as long as your reservation is for before park opening). If you are finished by 8:45 or so, you can get a ride in on 7DMT before the rope drop crowd gets there.
 

DVCakaCarlF

Well-Known Member
Yak and Yeti, Tusker, and Ohana are always good...maybe try to book a dinner for Ohana, too.

Not a fan of crystal palace...try skipper canteen or Kona at poly. There’s also a great selection of restaurants at Epcot.
 

kimberlymautz

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
So that’s 7 character meals??

I’d maybe slim that down first...that’s just me though
We'll have 9 sit down meals because of the dining plan and I try to choose buffets because my son will still be under 3 and therefore not on the Dining Plan. Trying to make the most out of the plan this upcoming trip. Haha.

If we end up rescheduling our trip I would be planning for less character meals. In a 9 day period I would totally aim for 3 or so, but anymore then that is definitely a lot. Haha.
 

Sirwalterraleigh

Premium Member
We'll have 9 sit down meals because of the dining plan and I try to choose buffets because my son will still be under 3 and therefore not on the Dining Plan. Trying to make the most out of the plan this upcoming trip. Haha.

If we end up rescheduling our trip I would be planning for less character meals. In a 9 day period I would totally aim for 3 or so, but anymore then that is definitely a lot. Haha.
Ok...

I’m just saying my BP Shot up to 289/178 just by reading the list...that’s alot of salt 😉
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
I actually just changed my BOG time to 8:25am (though I'm going to keep my eyes out for something earlier). My thought with 9:30am was that we could run to one or two rides between 9am opening and our reservation, but now my plan will just be to get to BOG as early as humanly possible so we can eat and head right out to some rides.

I've been to Tusker House for dinner which I really enjoyed, but my daughter wasn't a fan. I really just added it because I was running out of ideas. Nine table service meals is a lot harder to plan then I'd thought.

I've been to Cape May before but I didn't really think my boyfriend will like much there - he isn't a seafood fan. Both of my kids and I LOVE seafood, and I know there are other options for him, I just don't know.

We've been to Crystal Palace twice before and enjoyed it, but Sunday the 4th will be my son's 3rd birthday and he isn't really into Winnie the Pooh. Obviously that could change. I think I'm just over thinking.



I'll be traveling with my boyfriend, our daughter (she will be 9), and our son (will turn 3 while we're there!)
Personally to me BOG is garbage, but if you want the atmosphere then at least breakfast isn't as expensive as other meals and frankly we've done it multiple times for various meals because the kids like it... but even they admit that they like it for the way it looks not for the food.

But sense you are doing BOG, you are right to try and get the earliest reservation you can get, because when you get one that is for before the park opens they let you in early enough that you can get some good photos that you will never get otherwise of your kids on mainstreet or in front of the castle without tons of people in the photo. We've gotten quite a few with no one else in the photos and fairly wide angle shots be doing an early BOG breakfast. The other benefit is that if your breakfast is early enough then when you get out you can line up for Mine Train and do it when the park opens as one of the first in the stand by line so that you don't even have to waste a fastpass on it.

Other suggestions...
Tusker House would probably be a better place for lunch than breakfast.

I might also move Chef Mickey to a breakfast instead of the brunch you have listed, if for no other reason than because if you do a 11:30 reservation at Chef Mickey you've forced yourself to leave MK during the prime early time to go to the hassle of a monorail ride to eat and then go through security to get onto the monorail at contemporary before an other security check at the MK gate again... it's just a lot of hassle right at the beginning of the day. If you do a breakfast there early you can avoid a lot of that hassle.

I might also suggest 1900 Park Fare at Dinner at some point, it is probably one of the better character meals and would probably appeal to your daughter. It is one of the few character places I will gladly do for dinner because the food has always been better than a lot of the other character meals.

One other question is are you staying, and are you going to have your own car. I ask this because when you are driving yourself around it can be quicker than depending on Disney transportation and you've got some meals that are going to require to to go to various places, so keep in mind if you are depending on Disney transportation that you want to leave yourself plenty of time when you are going from one park to some place outside the park for a meal.
 

danyoung56

Well-Known Member
The other benefit is that if your breakfast is early enough then when you get out you can line up for Mine Train and do it when the park opens as one of the first in the stand by line so that you don't even have to waste a fastpass on it.
Unless they've changed this, you can line up and ride SDMT several times before the rope drop crowd arrives.
 

thomas998

Well-Known Member
Unless they've changed this, you can line up and ride SDMT several times before the rope drop crowd arrives.
Last time we did it, we were probably the 5th or 6th in line for Mine Train after leaving BOG, but they didn't start the ride until the the opening of the park. We were in the first group to ride it that day and when we finished we thought about getting in line again, but it was already long enough to start filling the queue I think most were just BOG people, but we decided it we were better off going to different ride before the crowds got to normal level. So it wouldn't be a walk on and the rope drop crowd can swarm into a place very quickly. Not sure fi the popularity of Mine Train has dropped all that much... If you were in line at the time of Rope drop you could probably easily ride it again if you were willing to do a 15 or 20 minute wait. Lots of people that do BOG seem to be aware of the Mine Train advantage so the line does start to grow quickly.
 

danyoung56

Well-Known Member
Perhaps this was a case of the ride coming online slowly. Or maybe they have changed the routine. All I know is about a year ago I had an 8am at BoG and was able to start riding SDMT at around 8:30, with rope drop happening at 9am. Got in 3 rides in a row and I could have had a couple more!!
 
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